Bankrupting America’s Spending Daily

| January 18 2013

Spending Daily | January 18, 2013

Geithner: U.S. “In Fourth Quarter” Of Economic Recovery
Reuters reports, “The U.S. economic recovery is entering the home strait, though unemployment is still very high and may only come down gradually, outgoing U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said. ‘I think in the recovery, if you do basketball, we’re in the early part of the fourth quarter,’ Geithner said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. The United States was further advanced than other countries in balancing debt against income and cutting leverage risk in the financial system, and ‘we are through the big adjustment in housing,’ he said.”

Obama Jobs Council Marks One Year Without Meeting
Politico reports, “President Barack Obama’s Jobs Council hit a notable milestone on Thursday: one year without an official meeting. The 26-member panel is also set to expire at the end of the month, unless Obama extends its tenure. The group, formally known as the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, last convened on Jan. 17, 2012 for a White House session where it presentedformal recommendations to Obama. It was the panel’s fourth official meeting since it was created in early 2011. A spokesman for Jobs Council chairman Jeffrey Immelt, who’s the CEO of General Electric, referred questions about the panel’s future to the White House. A White House spokeswoman had no commentThursday.”

Gallup: 75% Support Term Limits For Members of Congress
The Hill reports, “Three out of four Americans support term limits for members of Congress, a new poll finds. According to a Gallup survey posted Friday, 75 percent of adults nationwide back term limits for members of both the House and the Senate, while 21 percent say they would vote against term limits. Term limits received bipartisan support in the poll: Republicans would back such a measure 82-15 percent; independents would do so 79-17 percent and Democrats favored term limits 65-29 percent, even as most incumbents won their races again in November, Gallup noted.”

House GOP May Agree To More Short-Term Patch Work On Debt Ceiling Crisis 
Reuters reports, “House Republicans signaled on Thursday they might support ashort-term extension of U.S. borrowing authority next month so they can move on to budget battles that could offer them more political leverage. The move, described as under consideration by House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, appears to be aimed at getting President Barack Obama and his Democrats to start negotiating with them on spending cuts without Republicans being blamed for a debt default and any resulting chaos in financial markets.  … The option, if successful, would put off a fight with Obama over a long-term debt ceiling increase until Republicans and the White House have negotiated their way through two other fiscal deadlines later in the spring.”

President Obama’s “One Mandate” In Jeopardy
Bloomberg reports, “President Barack Obama, who said his ‘one mandate’ in a second term was to help middle class families, takes the oath of office with many barriers to raising most Americans’ living standards. Most Americans started this year with a cut in take-home pay as Congress let a temporary 2-percentage-point reduction in payroll taxes expire.Workers’ own leverage to gain wage increases will be limited for years by competition from the swollen ranks of jobless Americans as forecasters expect the unemployment rate to remain at or above 7 percent through 2014. … [M]edian household income in November was $51,310 — $3,850 lower than when Obama took office in January 2009, according to an analysis of census data by Sentier Research, an economic-consulting firm in Annapolis, Maryland.”

Paulson Calls For Presidential Leadership As Debt Bomb Still Ticking 
The Wall Street Journal reports, “Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Thursday that the U.S. government faces a ’debt bomb’ that can only be confronted if political leaders make changes to entitlement programs like Medicare, adding that otherwise a crisis would be so predictable ’it’s like flying into a cliff – you can just see it.’ ‘The politically easy work was raising the taxes on the rich,’ Mr. Paulson said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. ‘We need more revenue, but the important, difficult issue which both sides recognize is the growth of the entitlement programs. When you have programs growing faster than the economy, you can’t tax your way out of that.’”

Americans “Mostly Downbeat” About Next Four Years
The Wall Street Journal reports, “Days before his inauguration to a second term, President Barack Obama is in a strong political position, but leads a country riddled with pessimism about the economy and his ability to improve it, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds. Americans see some signs of improvement in the economy but are mostly downbeat about the next four years and about their own financial prospects, a grim contrast to the buoyant mood of Inauguration Day four years ago. … One measure of the public’s sour mood was that only 43% said they were feeling optimistic about the next four years. … Asked specifically about their economic prospects, only 34% said they expected 2013 to be a ‘time of economic expansion’ for their families; 60% said they saw the coming year as ‘a time to hold back and save, because harder times are ahead.’”

Troops Fear For Their Jobs
The Associated Press reports, “ The soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team have gone to war five times since 9/11, and 84 have been killed – including 13 during their current deployment to Afghanistan. But when members of the unit had a chance to ask Defense Secretary Leon Panetta questions Thursday, the top issue on their minds was jobs. … ‘You guys go out and you put your lives on the line, you take the worst risk of all – which is that somebody may shoot you and you may die,’ Panetta told the roughly 150 soldiers at the U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza. ‘All we’re asking of our elected leaders is to take a small part of the risk,’ he said, that maybe they would make some constituents mad. … The DefenseDepartment is facing a spending reduction of nearly $500 billion over a decade. An additional $110 billion in automatic spending cuts to military and domestic programs will take effect in early March if no agreement on avoiding the cuts is reached. As much as $55 billion of that would hit the Pentagon.”

Krugman: Deficits Not Our Biggest Problem, Already Solved
Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times, “The budget deficit isn’t our biggest problem, by a long shot. Furthermore, it’s a problem that is already, to a large degree, solved. … It’s true that right now we have a large federal budget deficit. But that deficit is mainly the result of a depressed economy — and you’re actually supposed to run deficits in a depressed economy to help support overall demand. The deficit will come down as the economy recovers: Revenue will rise while some categories of spending, such as unemployment benefits, will fall. … Now, projections that run further into the future do suggest trouble, as an aging population and rising health care costs continue to push federal spending higher. But here’s a question you almost never see seriously addressed: Why, exactly, should we believe that it’s necessary, or even possible, to decide right now how we will eventually address the budget issues of the 2030s?”

 

BankruptingAmerica.org is an educational project of Public Notice, an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to providing facts and insight on the effects public policy has on Americans’ financial well-being.

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